False corruption accusation malicious: Saara

Staff Writer

Prime Minister and Vice President candidate of the Swapo Party says she has not shied away from addressing corruption in all the position she occupied in government.

She says malicious allegations of corruption had been made against her, involving a sale of a farm and loans from the Development Bank of Namibia, to a business she co-owns with her husband.

She told this to the Windhoek Observer in an interview when questioned about her campaign for the position of Vice President of the party, which seem not to prioritise corruption.

Corruption accusations have been levelled against her, with some commentators even commenting that her ‘’fingerprints are on shady and dodgy family business deals’’.

But, Amadhila says it would be ‘’a travesty of justice if an accused person is assumed guilty and required to prove themselves innocent, as that will, firstly be contrary to our laws, secondly, it will incentivize people with malicious intent to falsely accuse others, and thirdly, it will undermine law and order, as the innocent can be condemned based on false allegations.

The accusations include the sale of a farm and DBN loans advanced to businesses she co-owns with her husband.

‘’In both cases, there was no evidence provided to substantiate the allegations which I deny and have also been dismissed by both by the Ministry responsible for land and DBN.’’

She further says she has been an ‘’active advocate for transparency and accountability’’ in all the positions she served.

During her tenure at Finance, she says, reforms were implemented to strengthen public finance management as well as the introduction of the anti-money laundering framework and the government accountability reports to parliament.

As the Prime Minister, ‘’I tabled the anti-corruption strategy and its action plan to Parliament, and I remain a strong advocate for the implementation of the second ant-corruption strategy and action plan that I had the honour to launch’’.

‘’I believe that corruption is a threat to development and peace and stability, and it is critical, therefore, preventing and fighting corruption continues to be given due priority, both at the Party and Government. I have been consistent and unambiguous in this view.’’

This fight requires that there are laws, systems and capable and functional institutions to prevent and fight corruption. ‘’Those systems and institutions will ensure that cases of suspected corruption are reported and investigated and those found guilty are held to account’’.

On the question of her rise in politics, Amadhila says it was ‘’never smooth sailing’’, contrary to her detractors who say she was always ‘’wheelbarrowed by influential men’’ into powerful positions which she has occupied.

She cut her teeth in the Namibia Planning Commission as Director General, from where she moved she took over another very influential position, as the Minister of Finance, where she served during the first global financial crisis.

‘’I assumed Political office from a young age. I have always considered political office as a call to serve, and not just an opportunity for career advancement. I have had to deal with serious challenges at the different positions that I held. I have always believed that while the challenges that we face as a Nation are serious, they are not impossible to overcome. I therefore confronted whatever challenges we had with determination.’’

She said she gained valuable experience dealing with the many challenges and had enriched her to deal with higher responsibilities.

‘’I have the appropriate skills, and I have gained experience over the years from the different leadership positions that I have served in. So I have been well groomed for this position, and with the youthful energy and passion that I have, I believe I am the suitable candidate for the position,’’ she said when asked why she is running for the Vice President position.

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